The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has thrown its weight behind Ambassador-appointee, Ms Ingekim Regina Ocheni who was accused of alleged corruption, human trafficking, forgery, perjury, and others, saying that the allegation is frivolous and unfounded.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ferdinand Nwonye in a statement on Wednesday said that the publication and the alleged petition are purported attempts to assassinate the character of Ambassador Ingekim Regina Ocheni, for acting in her official capacity as a former Director Training & Staff Welfare of the Ministry and in accordance with extant rules.
Recall that a letter to the German Embassy in Nigeria dated January 22, 2021, had accused Ambassador Ocheni, Nigerian Deputy Ambassador to Germany, of alleged “abduction/ trafficking, impersonation, forgery, perjury, criminal conspiracy, abetment, gratification, corrupt demand by persons and deliberate frustration of investigation.”
The petition, which was published by several online media platforms, was written by a legal practitioner, W. Chuks Obikwelu, Esq., on behalf of the petitioner, and addressed to the German Ambassador to Nigeria, Embassy of Germany in Abuja.
The letter was entitled “Criminal investigation against Ambassador Ingekim Regina Ocheni (Nigeria Deputy Ambassador to Germany)“.
“The petition noted that Ocheni was invited for interrogation on her roles in the alleged crimes via letter of invitation from National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and InterPol in Abuja, dated 8th January, 2021, and 11th January, 2021, respectively, but were ignored.
“She was also dragged before the Chairman of Special Unit of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to no avail.
“The petition has as its attachments copies of petitions addressed to the Director-General, National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons dated 21st December 2020, a petition addressed to the Commissioner of Police (Interpol Abuja), dated 21st December 2020, and a petition addressed to the chairman, Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (Chairman’s Special Unit) dated 21st December 2020,” the report disclosed.
However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, while responding to the allegations, said: “The Attention of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been drawn to a misleading online publication entitled “Buhari’s Ambassador-appointee accused of alleged corruption, human trafficking, forgery, perjury, et al.” issued on 1st February 2021. The publication was premised on a letter written to the German Ambassador in Nigeria by one Mr Winston Chukwura Obikwelu, Esq.
“The Ministry wishes to state that after meticulous scrutiny of the allegations by Mr Chukwura Obikwelu, it unequivocally refutes the content of the publication as the accusations are frivolous and unfounded. The publication and the alleged petition are purported attempts to assassinate the character of Ambassador Ingekim Regina Ocheni, for acting in her official capacity as a former Director Training & Staff Welfare of the Ministry and in accordance with extant rules”.
The Ministry also clarified that Amb. Ocheni, as Director Training & Staff Welfare
, was saddled with the responsibility of handling issues related to the death of Mrs Emmanuella Obikwelu, a staff of the ministry and a former wife to Mr Obikwelu, as expected of her office.
This, it said, eventually led to the handing of the children Mrs Obikwelu had with her ex-husband to their grandparents, Mr and Mrs Godian Amadi
, who doubles as her biological parents, whom she had registered as her Next-of-Kin.
, therefore, wishes to reemphasize that the children are currently in the custody of their grandparents and parent of the deceased, who she documented as her Next-of-Kin in accordance with extant regulations. The agitation instigated by Mr Obikwelu could as such be considered a family affair, which the Ministry or any of its officials should not be dragged into,” the statement asserted.
The Ministry concluded that aggrieved persons may wish to seek redress in a court of competent jurisdiction.